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Speaking the Truth in Love: Social Activism

Father Michael Lapsley

Amazing opportunity to hear Father Michael Lapsley!

Evening session in the Sanctuary at 6:30 is open to all with livestream at SecondChurch.org/Live.

Afternoon session in Room 356 from 2 to 4 is an interactive discussion with Father Michael Lapsley. Limited spots are available. 

Who is Michael Lapsley?

Father Michael Lapsley is a South African Anglican priest and social justice activist. He arrived in South Africa in 1973 as a university student and, during the height of apartheid repression, became chaplain at both black and white universities. He became an advocate for schoolchildren who were being shot, detained, and tortured.

As national chaplain to Anglican students, he continued to take a stand against the injustice of apartheid. Following his expulsion from South Africa in 1976, he lived in Lesotho, where he continued his studies and became a member of the African National Congress. He later moved to Zimbabwe, and, in 1990, three months after ANC leader Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, he received a letter bomb, which resulted in serious burns, as well as the loss of both hands and the sight in one eye.

In 1998, Fr. Lapsley founded the Institute for Healing of Memories, whose mission is to seek to contribute to the healing journey of individuals, communities, and nations. The Institute’s work is “grounded in the belief that we are all in need of healing because of what we have done, what we have failed to do, and what has been done to us.”

Lapsley is a graduate of the Australian College of Theology, the National University of Lesotho, and the University of Zimbabwe. He holds six honorary doctorates and has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal by the government of New Zealand. He was vice president of the South African Council of Churches from 2014 to 2017 and has served as Honorary Consul for New Zealand in Cape Town for 18 years.

Nelson Mandela described Fr. Michael Lapsley as “a foreigner who came to our country and was transformed by what he saw of the injustices of apartheid.” Mandela said, “Michael Lapsley’s life is part of the tapestry of the many long journeys and struggles of our people.”

We are honored that Father Michael Lapsley will be at Second in October to share wisdom from his life experience and inspire us to listen and learn from one another.


Pastor Rod Smith of First Presbyterian Church in New Castle, Indiana offers this memory of his time with Father Michael Lapsley in South Aftica.


Watch this video to learn more about Father Michael Lapsley and the founding of the Institute for Healing of Memories.